3 people, dog rescued after falling into icy water on southeastern Minnesota lake

Volunteer firefighters rescued three people and a dog who all went into the icy water on Lake Zumbro Wednesday. (Olmsted County Sheriff's Office / FOX 9)

Volunteer firefighters rescued three people and a dog from icy water on Lake Zumbro in southeastern Minnesota Wednesday. 

According to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began when a 61-year-old woman in a kayak was attempting to rescue her dog. Her kayak began to take on water and started sinking, causing her to fall into the frigid water. 

Two men, ages 67 and 68, who were ice fishing nearby saw the woman in the water and attempted to come to her rescue using a Wilcraft self-propelled vehicle. As they attempted to rescue her, however, the vehicle began to sink into open water, causing them to go into the lake as well. 

The Pine Island Fire Department arrived at the scene and volunteer firefighters were able to rescue all three people and the dog. 

The woman, who had been in the water for nearly 25 minutes before firefighters rescued her, was taken to a nearby hospital due to her exposure to the cold water. 

Medical personnel evaluated the two anglers at the scene, but they declined any further medical attention. 

The woman’s neighbor is caring for her dog. 

With warm temperatures expected this weekend, the ice on area lakes will be even more unpredictable.

The sheriff’s office is asking everyone to stay off the ice unless you are 100 percent certain the ice is thick enough to support a person. The minimum ice thickness guidelines for humans is 4 inches for new, clear ice. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Sources, however, says ice is never 100 percent safe.